5 Tips For A Healthier & Happier Air Travel Experience



  • Stay hydrated to avoid symptoms of elevation sickness and dehydration during flights.
  • Come prepared with sanitizing equipment to lower your risk of contracting illnesses.
  • Perform in-seat calf raises or take walks during the flight to improve circulation and prevent discomfort caused by immobility.

When traveling during the pandemic, passengers had first-hand exposure to the variety of health precautions that could be taken to ensure a safe flying experience. In this article, we’ll break down five of the best ways to ensure a happier and healthier experience while in the skies.

1 Staying hydrated

While most travelers do not think of flying the same way they would taking a high-altitude hike or skiing some of the highest slopes, elevation is certainly a factor while flying. Aircraft cabins are usually only pressurized to a height of 8,000 feet, which can lead to the same symptoms of elevation sickness.

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Furthermore, even some of the most modern aircraft, such as the Boeing 787, known for its passenger comfort, are only pressurized to an elevation of 6,000 feet. Passengers should take care to drink plenty of water throughout their journey in order to avoid becoming dehydrated.

2 Come prepared

Everyone knows that aircraft are cesspools for germs and disease, however by arriving prepared with appropriate sanitizing equipment, you can be sure to lower your risk of contracting an illness. Make sure to bring sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer, which you can use to wipe down all the seat’s hard surfaces (including the tray table) and sanitize your hands before eating.

Some carriers do provide passengers with personal sanitizing equipment, in addition to regular cleaning performed by the airline itself. United Airlines, for example, provides passengers with a personal wipe sanitizing upon boarding most flights.

3 Perform in-seat calf raises

Immobility is a major factor leading to passenger discomfort on aircraft, with a lack of blood flowing to ankles, knees, and hips causing vein thrombosis. This condition many experts refer to as economy-class syndrome.


Photo: Delta Air Lines

But, as scientists at Northwestern University’s Medical School have recommended, simply performing calf raises at one’s seat is enough to get the blood flowing to all three lower body joint areas. Furthermore, simply walking to the bathroom or taking a journey down to the end of the plane can be enough to ensure good circulation, given immobility on a long ride.

4 Keep time zones in mind

When flying between time zones, one’s circadian rhythm is led astray by the difference between the actual clock and one’s body clock. Keeping an eye on what time you are arriving at your destination in their time zone, one can do their best to avoid unnecessary symptoms of jet lag.


Photo: Etihad

One common traveler’s tip is to set one’s watch to the time zone of the destination, encouraging one to begin living their life and planning their sleep as if in the destination. However, in an age with Wi-Fi on planes where digital clocks adjust progressively to the new time zone, the strategy is often forgotten.

5 Eat smart

Unsurprisingly, given the change in pressurization between the Earth’s surface and an airliner’s cruising height, our digestive system reacts differently than it normally does. Specifically, fatty and acidic foods can be difficult to digest.


Photo: British Airways/Stuart Bailey

Therefore, make sure to eat light, but avoid ever feeling too hungry. For passengers in first or business class cabins, more food options can cause passengers to pay closer attention to what they eat in order to avoid bloating or upset stomachs.

Source: Northwestern Medicine

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